FlexiLink Cheshire East flexible transport service
The demand-responsive FlexiLink service will restart on Monday 3 August 2020.
The Government now consider the prevalence of Covid-19 infection to be lower in the community and so the risk of contracting the disease is significantly lower. We have made many changes to the way in which we operate in order to offer safe transport for passengers, many of whom we appreciate are in high-risk categories for Covid-19/coronavirus.
If you already travel on FlexiLink, you will receive a letter explaining the changes we are making to keep passengers and staff as safe as possible. Please ensure that you have read this fully before you phone us to book your next journey.
We will try to accommodate as many requests as possible, but due to the need to practise social-distancing on board, some seats will not be in use. We may need to prioritise some journeys, for example, to hospital appointments. We would ask everyone to be flexible while the service resumes.
See our new ‘Travelling Safely on FlexiLink’ guidance.
FlexiLink is a demand responsive transport service providing an alternative means of travel for Cheshire East residents with a disability, are aged 80 or over, or who live beyond the reach of any other public transport.
The fare is £3 per journey if you do not have a bus pass.
All journeys must be pre-booked so that routes can be planned efficiently.
Travelling safely on FlexiLink
Our priority remains the safety of our passengers and staff, so in order for all on board to travel safely, we expect you to:
Stay at home if you or anyone in your household thinks they may have Covid-19 and let us know that you cannot travel. You can order a test immediately by phoning 119 or via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Wear face coverings – this is now a legal requirement, unless you have a medical reason and are exempt*
Wash your hands before and after travelling – you will also be asked to use the hand sanitiser on the vehicle before boarding
If you need to pay your fare, please try to have the correct change for the driver once you have used the on board hand sanitiser
Dispose of used face coverings safely, or safely store washable face coverings
Follow social distancing guidelines and any instructions the driver gives you
Sit only on seats that are not taped off
Because of social distancing, only five passengers can travel on the bus at the same time, and we may need to prioritise journeys – for example, a journey to a hospital appointment is likely to be more important than a shopping trip, which could be rescheduled for another day.
We would ask everyone to be flexible while the service gets up and running again to make sure that we can accommodate as many requests as possible.
What you can expect from us:
Safety notices will be placed on minibuses, reminding everyone how to travel safely
Before and after each journey, we will be cleaning the bus interior, including all door and grab handles, seats and seatbelts
Drivers will wash their hands before and after each shift and use hand sanitiser, face coverings and gloves as appropriate
If you require physical assistance from the driver with boarding or stepping down off the vehicle, our driver will be able to help with your permission, but will be unable to social distance while doing this; the driver will sanitise their hands before and after helping individuals
Drivers will also wipe down walking aids such as frames, sticks and wheelchairs with anti-bacterial wipes before they bring them onto the minibus
Drivers will unfortunately not be able to enter your house to carry shopping, but can assist you as far as your front door
Drivers will receive Covid-19 training to ensure all new operational procedures and safety/hygiene measures are fully understood
As an additional cleaning measure, disinfectant ‘fogger’ machines have been purchased to enable the rapid disinfection and air purification on vehicles and will be used daily
Regular driver briefings will be held and feedback encouraged, helping managers review and monitor the service to inform future operations
We will keep all operational procedures and protocols under review and take account of the latest industry and government guidance, making changes where necessary
Whilst we will try to accommodate your request, please be aware that it may not be possible to do so. If vehicles are fully booked at the time you have requested we will discuss an alternative booking time with you.
Hours of FlexiLink service
The core hours of the service will be between 9.30am to 2.30pm on weekdays.
We offer a limited service for group bookings between 8.30 and 9.30am and 2.30 and 4.30pm.
How to book on FlexiLink
The booking line reopens on 27 July 2020. Call 0300 123 5110 to book a journey (local call charges apply, calls from mobiles may cost more). The booking line is open 09:30am - 12:30pm Monday to Friday.
Customers registered to use FlexiLink may request a booking by calling us between 24 hours ahead and one month in advance of when you wish to travel. The more notice customers are able to provide, the more efficiently we will be able to plan each journey and route.
As with public transport, you should expect to travel with other passengers who may be going to different destinations. Journeys may often take longer than expected and you should allow for this when making a booking request.
If your current travel arrangements are affected by the change in hours you can call Transport Service Solutions (TSS) on 01270 371428 who will explore ways to meet your transport needs.
Transport Service Solutions (TSS) will try to accommodate your request but it may not be possible to do so, especially due to the need to social-distance on board, as some of the seats will not be in use. If vehicles are fully booked at the time you have requested we will discuss an alternative booking time with you.
See our FlexiLink leaflet (PDF, 1MB)
How to register as a member
We are happy to take new applications for membership again now but please be aware that there may be limited numbers of journeys available due to the restrictions and additional measures we are undertaking to transport you as safely as possible.
The FlexiLink service is open for new customers.To start using the service, call us on the booking line number 0300 123 5110 (9:30am - 12:30pm Monday to Friday) to register your details.
Change or cancel a booking
To change or cancel a booking on FlexiLink, call 0300 123 5110 (9:30am - 12:30pm Monday to Friday). Tell us as early as possible if you need to cancel a booking as we can offer the seat to another customer instead.
Failure to cancel an unwanted booking results in a wasted journey and could mean that another customer doesn't get the opportunity to travel on the service.
English national concessionary travel scheme (accepted on this service)
If you are disabled or of eligible age, you may be entitled to free off-peak concessionary travel on local buses anywhere in England.
Concessionary bus pass holders
You can travel free after 9.30am if you have a concessionary bus pass. Show your bus pass to the driver when you board the bus. If you are travelling before 9.30am you will need to pay half fare, currently £1.50.
If you do not have a bus pass the fare is £3 per journey.
Disabled bus pass holders
You can travel for free at any time if you have a visual impairment. You must show the driver your Cheshire East Disabled Bus Pass in the fluorescent wallet when you board the bus.
Transport Service Solutions (TSS) will contact you directly if you are an existing customer who uses a wheelchair, to make arrangements for a wheelchair assessment.